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Anyone else hate "how to do ___" writing advice?

Discussion in 'Writing Discussions' started by Mythopoet, Jan 11, 2018.

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  1. Devor

    Devor Fiery Keeper of the Hat Moderator

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    I can let SteerpikeSteerpike speak for himself about how he intended the possible thread he mentioned to go, but I think Heliotrope that you're underestimating how much effort we put into making your thread didn't stray too far from the intentions of the OP because that's one of the things we do.
     
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  2. Heliotrope

    Heliotrope Staff Article Team

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    I get it. For sure I get it. And I appreciate it. But doing that is very different than limiting who is allowed to post all together.
     
  3. skip.knox

    skip.knox toujours gai, archie Moderator

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    The subject line says "Anyone else hate how to do ____ writing advice?"
    I reply, no I don't hate that, and so I'm pretty much done on the thread. I have to agree that those who disagree, given the subject line, are sort of crashing the party. They could come over to my party, tentatively entitled "what are your favorite pieces of writing advice?". There we can talk on the subject all we wish.

    And, should someone come along to argue at length that writing advice is unwelcome and possibly damaging, we might well wonder who invited *that* person. So, I make a suggestion. Note that it is a suggestion only, not a Moderator Edict.

    My suggestion is that those of us who don't hate writing advice pile into my '34 Packard and drive away, and let those who are in sympathy with the topic have at it in peace. I would feel differently if the OP subject was something along the lines of "Do you think ____ writing advice is good and helpful?" That would be an invitation to debate.

    Now, it's the nature of public forums to be open to having everyone weigh in on everything, and this is a public forum. That's why I make a suggestion, not a ruling. But why not consider my suggestion. Besides, the conversation is wandering into other avenues and is getting a bit too personal. Too many uses of the second person singular.
     
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  4. Heliotrope

    Heliotrope Staff Article Team

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    *hopping into Packard, head down.
     
  5. skip.knox

    skip.knox toujours gai, archie Moderator

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  6. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    Just looking at it from a practical standpoint, if someone posted such a thread, it still doesn't prevent debate, as another person could easily post a separate thread to debate the very same subject. In theory, everyone is happy. And the restriction is specifically subject-matter oriented, not based on inherent characteristics of member (such as race, gender, and the like).
     
  7. Michael K. Eidson

    Michael K. Eidson Archmage

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    [I see that others have said something similar already, but I wrote the below, and so I'm posting it.]

    MS already defines different forums for different topics. If you post a thread to an inappropriate forum, it gets moved. It's not censorship, it's only a way to keep posters on topic. So it might be a good thing to have a thread supporting what a given person wants to discuss, and the mods to help keep it on topic. If you want to have a different view, you're not prevented from it, just asked to discuss it elsewhere.
     
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  8. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    Yes. If the forum as a whole were restricted to "agree with position X or else don't participate," that would be a censorship issue. Keeping certain content in certain threads is not.
     
    Peat likes this.
  9. Demesnedenoir

    Demesnedenoir Istar

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    I see pictures of cars like that and I just want to fill it full of holes with my tommy gun.

    How’s that for on topic?
     
  10. skip.knox

    skip.knox toujours gai, archie Moderator

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    I think maybe ya need a little air.
     
  11. Chessie2

    Chessie2 Staff Article Team

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    Just give me a long cigarette and some shades. Be ready to go in five.
     
  12. Russ

    Russ Istar

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    If Mythopoet wants a site where people just agree with her she should start that. If we are going to start creating ghettos here so people can just slander and insult other people's way of doing things, than this site will become a toilet in a hurry. People could avoid such problems with a little foresight and giving a thought to the opinions and feelings of others, but that is not the signal you get when the post is about how you hate something that other people do, or how it annoys you that other people do something different than you.

    Let me try to illustrate why I joined this thread to vehemently disagree with Mythopoet's post with an old Canadian joke.

    Two travelling salesman are having lunch together and their conversation goes like this:

    "I just got back from a long sales trip to Sudbury."

    "That sucks man, there are only two things that ever come from Sudbury, hookers and hockey players."

    "My wife is from Sudbury."

    "What position does she play?"

    The problem is that MP's original post expresses a hatred of what some people I actually know and respect do for a living, and do it will and with good intentions. And rather than just flapping their gums they can point to concrete examples these people can often point to individuals whose writing career they have help developed. The problem that the OP runs into is she forgets there are real people out in the real world feeding their kids and working hard that she is crapping on with her comments. I don't dispute her right to do that, it might not be wise, but that is her right. But for her to post an obvious hornet's nest poking post and then act disappointed when people disagree is ridiculous.

    If she, or you, expect me to stand by silently and what "friendly opinion only" threads suggesting that people who do those things are missing the whole point of storytelling you don't understand much about human nature. Personally I wouldn't want the kind of friends who just sat by and did nothing if someone started insulting say lawyers or fantasy writers.

    Sheilawisz I totally believe that you have faced people mocking the way you write. For you to support the same conduct here against another method, and even suggest that there should be threads where only people who agree to hate the other method have a special space to express their disdain for a method say, 80% of this site adopts is hypocritical at best and destructive at heart.

    Truthfully the whole problem could have been avoided if the OP had taken a positive approach to the issue. A thread about creativity, or alternative ways of writing, or even "writing without rules" would not attract the same negative attention. But the OP chose to start a thread attacking a methodology for learning to write better. It "got personal" the minute she decided to express hatred for a methodology many people on this site follow. She, and many other people, seem to forget there are real people out there who rely on this approach that she chose to express hatred for.
     
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  13. Michael K. Eidson

    Michael K. Eidson Archmage

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    The title of the OP unfortunately contains the word "hate." I agree we should avoid that trigger word, in both titles and posts. But we shouldn't argue only against titles, which are often written just to lure readers. Yes, hate is a strong word, but it doesn't appear once in the actual OP. The OP only expresses annoyance. And the annoyance is not even directed at all writing advice, only that of a prescriptive, authoritative nature that leaves no room for other ways of doing things. The OP's annoyance, from how I read it, is with prejudicial presentation of advice, written as the one and only true way. If not for the unfortunate use of the word "hate" in the title, I don't see how she deserved to be attacked for expressing her feelings, or for asking if anyone else feels the way she does.
     
    Devor likes this.
  14. Russ

    Russ Istar

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    First off I think she should post whatever she chooses to post, but then she cannot complain when people post contra opinions. But if she wants to post material that clearly denigrates a route other people chose to walk then she has to be prepared for some push back. I don't think she should be attacked for expressing her feelings at all, but she cannot criticize others and then ask for a thread where no one criticizes her idea!

    And you read her first post far too generously. She made some statements that clearly denigrated other people's chosen approach to writing:

    But every time I see such a question, and not just here, I can't help thinking that these aspiring writers are missing the essential nature of being a storyteller

    If you have someone else give you the answers or even just use generalized writing advice to form your story... I just feel like you're missing out on the whole point.

    But I feel as though such articles suggest a false idea about storytelling: that if you want to accomplish a specific effect within your story, there are certain particular ways of doing it


    I don't know, call me crazy, I think someone telling a group of people that they are missing the essential nature of being a storyteller, or are missing the whole point, is kind of insulting. I think that saying another group of people are suggesting a false idea is not so flattering either.

    I wonder how MP, or Sheilawisz would react if I had the bad form and lack of civility to make similar negative general statements about their approach to writing?

    We allwould have been far better off, and it would have had the potential to create a productive discussion, if she had approached this topic in a positive way, promoting a positive alternative rather than attacking people's chosen path.
     
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  15. Devor

    Devor Fiery Keeper of the Hat Moderator

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    It's too early for this.

    I'm closing this thread. There may be some follow up later.
     
  16. Sheilawisz

    Sheilawisz Queen of Titania Moderator

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    Thank you Devor for locking this thread, I just want to make a final announcement.

    The member Russ continued the personal attacks despite very clear Moderator instructions from Skip and myself to stop that behavior. I have been forced to issue a 3-day cooling period to his account. This is just the result of his argumentative and hostile behavior, and nothing personal from my part.

    I am very confident and happy with my approach to writing, so the fact that some people openly mock it does not affect me anymore.
     
  17. Devor

    Devor Fiery Keeper of the Hat Moderator

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    We've been hearing from members and there seems to be some confusion as to why this thread was locked and an infraction issued. I apologize for creating confusion.

    Russ has been warned in the past specifically against holding an ongoing feud with Mythopoet. The fact that he chose to target her strongly now, disproportionately to anything she said (I felt), long after she stopped posting, and even though others including myself have made far more aggressive comments about the value of writing advice, indicated to me that the feud was still ongoing. He had been warned repeatedly that carrying on this feud would result in an infraction, and that is what happened.

    At this time, I feel the thread has also run its course, and that most of us could use a breather. If somebody wishes to pick up the conversation, we ask only that you wait just a couple of days before opening a new thread.

    Finally, so long as it helps a member with their writing, it has always been our prerogative as moderators to push all discussions towards the intentions of the original post to the best of our abilities, even when we personally find the discussion discomforting. Steerpike's expression of support for a proposed thread is an expression of standard, de facto policy on our part. As a mildly conservative Catholic, I have joined many discussions about writing to support communism, atheism, LGBT issues, and others - all putting aside "my own agenda" with the intent of supporting the request of the OP, even when I might be uncomfortable or in disagreement. If I can do it, I'm sure that all of us can tolerate a thread questioning the value of writing advice, with respect for our members and their individual writing needs.

    Please understand all of this going forward.
     
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